RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

CRSC UPDATE 1August 2008

Posted by Service Officer on July 31st, 2008

The services began processing in JUN 08 Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) claims based on expanded CRSC eligibility to members with less than 20 years of service (YOS) who were retired for medical reasons (Chapter 61) or retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) during the 1990s force reduction. Compensation amounts vary widely based on several key factors, including rank, years of service, DoD and VA disability ratings, and the portion of the disability that’s the result of combat. Based on individual circumstances, retirees may receive CRSC awards that restore part or all their longevity-based retired pay. In certain other cases, they may see no change in their pay. A few key factors in understanding the CRSC guidance for compensation are:

 

- Years of Service: the more service, the easier to qualify (more ret pay earned by service alone — 2.5% of pay/yr) .

- Relative VA vs. DoD disability rating: the bigger the difference, the easier to qualify for CRSC % disability due to combat: The more due to combat, the easier to qualify for CRSC.

- Key issue: Any retired pay above 2.5% x YOS is still subject to offset by VA disability comp.

- Multiple factors mean results not always predictable

Thousands of retirees will benefit from the CRSC expansion. However, some with combat-related disabilities who currently lose their entire retired pay to the disability offset will still see no CRSC payment because of an unanticipated glitch in the statutory payment formula. With the many factors which go into the calculation, there’s no clear cutoff to explain exactly who will get less than expected. In general, those most likely to be affected are enlisted members with fewer than 14 years of service who have a high VA disability percentage but a significantly lower percentage that’s due to combat. Some retired officers are also affected. For example, MOAA has noted under the statutory formula the CRSC award for a E-7 with 12 years active duty service rated 100% by both DoD and VA, but only 60% is combat-related would be computed as follows:

DoD Disability Retirement: $2,376

Less Service-Earned Retirement Pay: $950

DoD Pay for Disability would be: $1,426

Max CRSC for 60% combat related: $921

Less DoD Pay for Disability: $1,426 (formula requires this deduction even when member doesn’t actually receive any pay from DoD)

CRSC Award would be: $0

DoD and DFAS aren’t the culprits here…they have to pay according to the statutory formula. MOAA has briefed the Armed Services Committee staffs on the problem and a potential legislative fix. Informally, service and finance officials agree that the formula doesn’t work as it should in some cases. But for the majority it works fine as in the case of an E4 with 4 YOS and rated 100% from both DoD and VA (100% combat-related):

DoD Disability Retirement: $1,412 (75% of base pay)

Less Service Earned Retirement Pay: $188 (4 Yrs x 2.5% x pay)

DoD Pay for Disability would be: $1224

Max CRSC 100% combat related: $2527

Less DoD Pay for Disability: $1224

CRSC eligibility: $1303 cannot exceed service earned pay of $188

CRSC Award would be = $188

Best advice to combat-disabled retirees: APPLY! [Source: MOAA Leg Up 25 Jul 08 ++]

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